Minister Dato’ Sri Saifuddin bin Abdullah and Deputy Minister Kamarudin bin Jaffar took to Facebook yesterday to share their concern and displeasure towards the provocative action taken by Rasmus Paludan who burnt a copy of the Holy Quran in front of protestors in Linköping located in southern Sweden.
The post described the action as heinous and condoning Islamophobia, disrupting public peace – a violation of the society’s freedom of speech.
Malaysia will also continue to engage closely with other members of the international community to avoid and eliminate Islamophobia and religious extremism, according to the statement.
According to claims in the media, the Danish leader of the far-right Stram Kurs (Hard Line) party burnt a copy of the Holy Quran in a Muslim-heavy district of Sweden on Thursday, April 14.
Paludan, escorted by police, was said to have proceeded to an open public location in southern Linkoping and set the Muslim holy scripture down and ignited it, despite protestations from appalled bystanders. The illiberal behaviour was caught on camera.
Paludan is currently the leader of the Danish-Swedish Stram Kurs, or Hard Line, movement founded in 2017. The extremist politician and lawyer stated that he had burnt Islam’s most sacred text, and would likely repeat the action.
Today marks another day of continuous rioting in Sweden following the occurrence.
It was reported that veiled men stormed police vehicles and set them on fire while chanting “Allahu Akbar” on Thursday. During the attack, four police officers were hurt, according to independent researcher Hugo Kamman. So far, two persons have been arrested in connection with the investigation.
The officers soon left the area, enabling rioters to carry on the outbreak of violence in Norrköping, Rinkeby, Stockholm, and Orebro, among other Swedish cities.
Asa Willsund, a police spokesperson, said, “The mood has been aggressive, and there have been strikes against police at the scene.”
Protests in Sweden have previously turned violent in retaliation to threats by Stram Kurs to torch the Quran. In confrontations in Malmö in 2020, rioters lit cars on fire and damaged storefronts.
Paludan, who was incarcerated for a month in Denmark in 2020 for crimes involving bigotry, has also attempted to organise Quran burnings in other European nations, including France and Belgium.